Horses

frgazza
frgazza Posts: 11
edited April 2014 in Road general
Hello

Today I was cycling along a lane and two large horses with riders abreast were in front of me. I did what I always do and slowed down to cycle very slowly past them on their right. The horse closest to me was mildly startled by me, but as I cycled onwards accelerating once past the riders, they were quite abusive, and suggested "you could have warned us …. etc"

I did not respond but wondered what the wisdom is on this. I fear myself that yelling as I approach "Cyclist coming," or words to that effect might startle the horse and indeed riders more than slowing down and cycling slowly past, feathering brakes just incase. It also would feel quite arrogant.

I also wonder about the wisdom of riding horses two abreast on narrow lanes if a cyclist passing by at about 4 mph is going to startle the horse.

Any thoughts anyone

frgazza
«13

Comments

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,248
    I like horses (both live ones and braised), but I like horse riders a bit less.
    A few thoughts

    1) Too many horses in this country, time to cull. Horse meat is a delicacy, enjoy...
    2) horse riders should have a special licence to drive animals
    3) Horses should not be driven two abreast
    4) Not sure why cycles are not allowed on some bridleways, but horses are allowed on A roads, time to revise these aristocracy privileges nonsense
    5) To be driven on public roads, horses should pass an annual MOT, involving reaction under stress
    left the forum March 2023
  • menthel
    menthel Posts: 2,484
    I generally will say loudly but calmly (not shouty) that I am coming and do as you did and slow down. I generally pair it all with a smile and it tends to work out well.
    RIP commute...
    Sometimes seen bimbling around on a purple Fratello Disc or black and red Aprire Vincenza.
  • I always call out "cyclist coming through" although I used to ride Tune hubs so they would hear me coming just by me freewheeling.

    If you warn them of your impending pass it is for your own, theirs and the horses safety and nothing else. From when I worked on the railways I see it as no different to the reasons of safety for why a train blows its whistle to warn workers on the track.
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    I passed a horse and rider a while back on a quiet country lane - was uphill so was only doing 15-20km/h or so.

    Gave them the widest berth possible, but as i passed the horse totally freaked out and reared up on it's hind legs.

    The rider was a male in his 40's with all the kit, seemed to be experienced, but the horse bolted off, and there was nothing he could do. It did eventually calm down, but the rider did well not to fall off.

    Can't see what else I could have done under the circumstances.

    I've never been comfortable riding horses, and don't think any rider is 100% in control.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Horses are 'flight' animals - something sneaking up quietly is considered a danger and may cause the horse to bolt. Calling out when coming up behind lets the horse and rider know it's only another human and less likely to cause it to bolt. I'm in the middle of horsey country and we have to share the narrow lanes and bridleways. A clubmate once got kicked as he tried to ride past without calling - a few broken ribs and he wasn't laughing.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    edited April 2014
    Horses will look to escape from any threat or from the unknown - try opening a bright umbrella in a horse yard. When coming up to a horse, you are effectively in the horses blind spot and will approach at speed and relatively quietly. If you announce your presence then the rider will be aware of you and can prepare for it but just as importantly the horse will be aware that it is a human coming past and so nothing to fear.

    My daughter and wife both ride horses and the far corner of the paddock where they ride is surrounded by trees and a number of horses will freak out and try to avoid riding into that corner because they cannot see what is there.

    Apologies, just seen MD covered most of this.
  • I use one of these, that way they just think I'm another friendly horse...

    article_21998_615x0_proportion.png

    http://www.trotify.com/

    :mrgreen:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I just call 'morning' or 'hello' in a normal voice, or just 'excuse me' just to warn the riders that I am coming and pootle past as slow as possible - for the exact reasons Ugo states. There is no reason to zoom past and not show the same courtesy that you would hope to receive from a car driver.

    I do wonder what happens when an electric car comes along...
  • Rod11
    Rod11 Posts: 293
    Just to reiterate what others have said, saying something to alert the rider is definitely the way to go. I previously was a horsey person myself, and there is nothing worse than someone/thing coming up behind you without you realising, no matter how slow. As a cyclist I've had abuse from horse riders for 'shouting' to make them aware of me before I pass them, but I'll quite happily take that than the alternative of possibly spooking the horse and it then potentially kicking out at me or throwing it's rider.
  • I don't have a bell so I just say "bring bring" loud enough for them to hear and then pass once the rider has acknowledged my existence. I usually get a smile after doing that.
  • curto80
    curto80 Posts: 314
    Always call a warning if approaching behind. Ideally slow to walking pace, keep your distance and ask the rider if it's ok to pass. Cyclists being inconsiderate to horse riders when passing is just as bad as drivers being inconsiderate to cyclists. I'm not saying for a moment that you were inconsiderate, but next time you do need to call out before you get too close. It's not about the speed you pass at.
    Rose Xlite Team 3100 Di2
    Kinesis Tripster ATR
    Orro Oxygen
  • All very well to be considerate, but can we get motorcyclists to do the same. They approach from behind, faster than the speed of sound, pass too close and always scare the bibs off me.
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    Perhaps we should throw this one to the New Forest NIMBYs.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    as above, i slow down, announce my presence and ask if its ok, smile and thanks. there is one local lane where i get this a lot and ive got to know them quite well...
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Curto80 wrote:
    Always call a warning if approaching behind. Ideally slow to walking pace, keep your distance and ask the rider if it's ok to pass. Cyclists being inconsiderate to horse riders when passing is just as bad as drivers being inconsiderate to cyclists. I'm not saying for a moment that you were inconsiderate, but next time you do need to call out before you get too close. It's not about the speed you pass at.

    ^^ this.
  • dilatory
    dilatory Posts: 565
    Slow down and shout the appropriate hello or morning. On Friday I came across 3 horse rides riding 3 abreast taking up the entire two lanes of a country road. Rather than get out of the way they just stopped and stared at me and made me weave like a slalom around the front and backs of their horses. I was quite pissed off.

    It also infuriates me that they are allowed to let their horses shit all over the roads. It's a significant obstacle on a road bike.
  • I always call out and slow down for their benefit as well as mine. I go past a riding school on one of my countryside rides so get used to it, including beginners.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    dilatory wrote:
    It also infuriates me that they are allowed to let their horses shoot all over the roads. It's a significant obstacle on a road bike.

    I agree but it would take quite a poo bag to carry it round with them!!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • Pituophis
    Pituophis Posts: 1,025
    Last time I quietly and politely announced myself when slowly passing a couple of horses, one of them still almost did a back flip, despite the fact that I'd also crossed onto the other side of the road! How the young girl stayed on it, I will never know! :shock:
    Being young, they laughed. Ten years older and I'm sure I would have evolved into a pathological murderer in their opinion. :roll:
  • dilatory
    dilatory Posts: 565
    Chris Bass wrote:
    dilatory wrote:
    It also infuriates me that they are allowed to let their horses shoot all over the roads. It's a significant obstacle on a road bike.

    I agree but it would take quite a poo bag to carry it round with them!!

    Poo rucksack. Dragon's Den here I come.

    They should at least have to shuffle it off the road or to the side or something, use their boot and push it over.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Living in a rural area I get the horse thing quite a lot and I have friends that own horses....... Bl00dy nightmare, you'll get a narrow country lane and they plod along side by side, I've had, "it's not a race track", "don't creep up on us", "where's your bell" the list goes on and you can't pacify a horse rider.
    I can recount numerous occasions where if I'd been in a car instead of riding a bike there would have been carnage.
    Horses should be on a track or in a burger not plodding down a lane at 2mph.
  • d_o_g
    d_o_g Posts: 286
    I encounter horse riders on pretty much every ride, never had a problem in 10 years. Call of 'Cyclist behind' when 25m off, followed by a wave and slowing to walking pace when the rider turns, then softly saying 'Coming past now' just as you approach the horse so it knows you are a person, not a tiger (as one rider once said to me).

    All of this to keep my own ass intact, primarily. Don't fancy my chances against a horse.
  • curto80
    curto80 Posts: 314
    Bozman wrote:
    Living in a rural area I get the horse thing quite a lot and I have friends that own horses....... Bl00dy nightmare, you'll get a narrow country lane and they plod along side by side, I've had, "it's not a race track", "don't creep up on us", "where's your bell" the list goes on and you can't pacify a horse rider.
    I can recount numerous occasions where if I'd been in a car instead of riding a bike there would have been carnage.
    Horses should be on a track or in a burger not plodding down a lane at 2mph.

    This is satire, right?
    Rose Xlite Team 3100 Di2
    Kinesis Tripster ATR
    Orro Oxygen
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,923
    7/10 times whatever you do will be wrong in the riders eyes.

    Make a noise - you'll have startled the horse.
    Don't make a noise - you'll have startled the horse.

    Invariably the riders are pompous middle aged women who when not riding their lumps of meat, drive them round the countryside in clapped out, unsafe, horsebox lorries at 18 mph.

    As for the crap the leave on the roads......

    Horses aren't suited to tarmac - so keep them on the grass away from the roads (or put them in a lasagne or burger or make glue out of them!) :lol:
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Curto80 wrote:
    Bozman wrote:
    Living in a rural area I get the horse thing quite a lot and I have friends that own horses....... Bl00dy nightmare, you'll get a narrow country lane and they plod along side by side, I've had, "it's not a race track", "don't creep up on us", "where's your bell" the list goes on and you can't pacify a horse rider.
    I can recount numerous occasions where if I'd been in a car instead of riding a bike there would have been carnage.
    Horses should be on a track or in a burger not plodding down a lane at 2mph.

    This is satire, right?

    Sounds like it but.... No
  • Smithster
    Smithster Posts: 117
    Horses should not be allowed on the road, I mean they don't even pay road tax :wink:
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Smithster wrote:
    Horses should not be allowed on the road, I mean they don't even pay road tax :wink:

    What about the emissions?

    Seriously, whatever you might think about horse *riders* - it will usually be the horse itself that ends up kicking you in the head and ruining the rest of your life. So treat them with respect.
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    Imposter wrote:
    Smithster wrote:
    Horses should not be allowed on the road, I mean they don't even pay road tax :wink:

    What about the emissions?

    Seriously, whatever you might think about horse *riders* - it will usually be the horse itself that ends up kicking you in the head and ruining the rest of your life. So treat them with respect.

    thats alright cyclists heads are protected by bits of polystyrene :D
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    the thing that always puzzles me is how does the horse know the sudden cheery and loud hulloo from a source somewhere behind it, it cant see (which is the problem), isnt still something to react to. (I think thats simply to announce yourself to the rider, the horse is just as likely to bolt to the unfamiliar noise which is why maybe shouting isnt such a good idea)

    because it scares the life out of me when people come up behind and start talking to me when Im on my bike, not that Im saying Im like a horse at all...though I would like to be given the same consideration in space by other vehicles, it was fascinating at the weekend on a ride, watching how cars reacted to a horse plodding along the road, all put their brakes on, crawled past,giving maximum space they can, lots of friendly waving, same cars just moments earlier zoomed past me doing 35mph with about 6inches to spare.
  • tootsie323
    tootsie323 Posts: 199
    Horse riders are very much the same as other road / shared pavement users; some are courteous, others act as if they have sole right to the road. I passed two horses and riders in the space of 10 minutes and had contrasting encounters. The first I only saw late, approaching from behind, and had to brake sharply. She and horse both kept their cool and we exchanged pleasantries as I passed slowly. The second I approached from the front; we both saw each other in good time. In this instance, she was chating with a friend (who was on foot), and a couple of dogs were walking around. Horse and rider were in the middle of the (narrow) road and made no attempt to move over, plus neither did anything to call the dogs to heel, or did they utter a word to me. I had to crawl by (not that I wasn't already going slow) and steer around the dogs.